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Museum of Me: November 2023

It’s time for a new installment in the Museum of Me and this month it’s about the words or expressions from my childhood that still echo in my head. Because that’s not an exercise in emotional upheaval, right?

In thinking about it, I heard the usual expressions . . .

you sound like a herd of elephants coming down the stairs
be careful or your face will freeze like that
we don’t have a money tree in the backyard, you know

I also heard some expressions that maybe weren’t so great to say to a kid . . .

someday you won’t be able to eat whatever you want without gaining weight
stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about
don’t make me get the belt
(that was mostly said to one of my brothers and not me)

But, fortunately, the expression I remember most and that resonated with me the most was . . .

you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up

and the companion expression for that phrase . . .

you will be the first in our family to go to college

I thought about that a lot and imagined all kinds of extraordinary things I could be . . . an astronaut or a hot shot lawyer or even President but, as it turns out, I wanted to be something pretty ordinary. A librarian.

And I’m grateful I had the support and encouragement to make that dream come true.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. The words that we say to children (and adults) and how we say them are important. My father used all of those “not so nice” expressions, but I’m glad that you also heard some very encouraging words!

  2. I am ever so glad you heard those encouraging words and that being a librarian is what called to you… I cannot imagine a better librarian than you Carole! XO

  3. Not one bit ordinary! In my opinion quite an esteemed position. I’m glad those positive statements rang true.

  4. This is an area where being raised by two teachers who grew up in hard homes really was a bonus for me. They had such a good grasp on how much words matter. I still heard things that weren’t ideal, but there was so much more positive, encouraging and constructive that came my way. I find that especially remarkable as I’ve grown to know more about their childhood experiences.

    And there’s nothing ordinary about a good librarian. Every job is unique and I think you’re in a great position to inspire people to learn and grow at any age.

  5. So thankful you heard words of encouragement (as well as some not-so-nice phrases). I don’t think of librarians as being very ordinary…on the other hand, they impact and influence so many people – children and adults alike. Your town is lucky to have you heading up their library!

  6. Those words we hear as kids . . . they really do stick. I’m glad the GOOD words stuck with you, Carole! (And I remember being so relieved when I discovered that my face really wouldn’t “freeze like that!”) XO

  7. Don’t manipulate me w your tears, you’re too sensitive, get up, get up you lazy louts(!), just because so and so just os on the lake are you going to, think of all the starving people in China and the biblical worst doom ‘the road to hell is paved w good intentions balanced w you’re going to be a late bloomer, you’re worth all the money in the world and more, if you have your health you have everything

  8. When I was a kid, every time my Swedish father sneezed he followed it with “säger katten” — “says the cat.” No earthly idea why he did that, but I find myself doing it. But only when I’m alone!

  9. I’m thinking the message you heard was just one tiny piece of what made you go to college AND become a librarian. But whatever voice you heard, I’m so glad you listened!

  10. Do not belittle the profession of librarianship! Librarians can have incredibly good effects on children that last a lifetime.

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